the evolution of fashion styles

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  • The Evolution of Fashion Styles

    By Sam Benton

    Who doesn't have a favourite fashion style? Surely everyone can look back to a time in history and just

    admire the style of clothes worn at that time. I know I do.

    My personal favourite fashion styles are a throwback to the thirties when men's suits were evolved to

    create the perception of a large torso. The shoulders were squared using wadding or believe it or not,

    shoulder pads and the sleeves were tapered to the wrist. Smart peaked lapels framed the v-shaped

    chest and added additional breadth to the wide shoulders. This was a period that also saw the rise in

    popularity of the double breasted suit the suit that developed into the modern business suit.

    This was a time when men's suits were masculine and elegant with jackets with long, broad lapels, two,

    four or six buttons, square shoulders and vent less tails. A generous cut, long pair of trousers completed

    the look.

    Enough of my favourites.

    Every decade has brought along new more adventurous fashion styles, usually on the heels of shift in

    the social climate of the day.

    Probably my least favourite fashion style was during the 80's when the clothing styles mirrored the

    culture of the day in what for me was a very self centred decade. The attitude was one of bold

    aggression and clothes that didn't make a bold statement just didn't make the grade. It is absolutely no

    surprise that not only were the fashions bold and aggressive, the middle of the 80' also saw the launch

    of Dior's Poison, in itself a very bold and aggressive perfume favoured by the so called powerful power

    suited businesswomen at the time. For me a very forgettable decade.

    You can't really talk about fashion style without mentioning the sixties. The sixties was probably the

    most revolutionary decade in living memory. The war in Vietnam brought about a sea change in public

    thinking with a whole generation turning its back on aggressive imperialism. The upshot was a wave of

  • peace demonstrations where the notion of love and peace were embraced by a very enthusiastic and

    willing audience. The hippy styles of the sixties were a blatant snub to the conformity of the previous

    decade with flowers, colour and a return to basics.

    Love them or loathe them, fashion styles change with the direction of the wind and long may that


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